Wednesday, July 31, 2013

~The Accidental Half Marathon~

The last long run before SeaWheeze is done! Only 10 days to go!

I've been doing most of my training for this race on my own since the current half marathon clinic is training for goal races in September/October. There are about 12 of us road tripping from our Running Room to Vancouver for SeaWheeze but it's been challenging to actually train together. Between holidays, family obligations and a few wanting to do long runs at different times or even days, I've barely trained at all with them.

On Sunday morning, Hubby, Audrey and I met up with the current half marathon clinic. They had 10K on schedule. They were doing a route that I've never actually done, although I have run in the areas that were part of the route. The route is nicknamed "8 Up, 2 Down." That did not sound good! When they explained the route, it confirmed that it was going to be hilly. Not quite how I like to start an 18K run but SeaWheeze isn't exactly flat so this would be good training.

And hilly it was! We ran up our hill training hill which is just evil. Then we ran part of the Hansen Ranch route, which Howard described as a 'special place in hell.' It was just non-stop hills. I was very thankful to have a few people to run with and keep me going when it seemed the hills would never end.

We finished 10.35K at a pace I was happy with considering how hilly it had been. Hubby suggested that I run home to get the rest of my distance. He had done it a few months prior and said it was pretty straight forward and about 8K. I questioned the distance since it seemed farther than that but it made the most sense to run in that direction.

Of course, the route home involved Hansen Ranch again, the hilliest route ever! You just feel like you are running uphill for 5K straight, which you pretty much are. I was already pretty tired from the last hilly 10K but there is really no way around hills, especially considering that all the surrounding communities have "Hill(s)" in their name!

I walked when I needed to. I did a lot of negotiating with myself to get through the hills. I'm so thankful the weather was on the cooler side as it would have been unbearable if it had been hot. The forecast called for thundershowers so I hoped it would hold off until I got home.

Sure enough, I was right and hubby was way off in his calculation of the route. I was at 16K and knew I had at least 3-4K to go before I reached home. At this point most of the big rolling hills were done and while I felt tired, I wasn't in any major pain. Just the usual discomfort after running a hilly 16K!

I messaged hubby to let him know where I was and that he was off in his calculation. He offered to pick me up but I wanted to make it to at least 18K before I decided what to do. He was at the Farmer's Market by our house so close by.

As I thought, if I was to run all the way home it would be 21.1K. On one hand I just wanted hubby to pick me up and to be done but I also wanted to just run the extra 3K and prove to myself that I can run a super hilly half marathon.

At 19K I messaged hubby to pick me up. It was starting to hurt more to walk than run. My hip flexors and abductors were screaming at me. I continued running towards home, hoping that he would pull up and rescue me.

20K- still no response from hubby.

20.5K- I texted him back saying "forget it, I'm practically home!"

21.1K- almost to my front door. I beat hubby home. Glad to be done!

After grabbing a quick bite to eat, I headed for an ice bath. These legs were not happy with me at all.

What sweet relief. Even with the ice bath, I hobbled around for the rest of the day.

So for future reference, running home is about 10.5K away, not 8K! I won't be making that mistake again!

Now I just hope that SeaWheeze isn't as hilly as that route! I looked at the elevation chart and it does look like it has some rolling hills but I don't think they are as big as the ones I did on this route. I'm still hoping running at sea level will give me a good advantage!

Either way, I'm going to have a blast!

Friday, July 26, 2013

~A whole lotta nothing~

It's been a pretty uneventful week, which is good on one hand but means there is nothing exciting to share.

It's Friday and that's about the most exciting thing that's happened all week!

We won't even discuss the horrible tantrum Audrey decided to pull yesterday when we tried to leave the day home. Left me exhausted, defeated, near-tears and ready for a big ol' drink. And cheesecake.

Only 15 days till SeaWheeze!! Which means only 5 more working days till I'm on vacation! That's worthy of mentioning- if not shouting from the rooftops!

Training is going well. Still struggling to get my workouts in each night, especially now that Audrey's bedtime has moved up to 7:45-8pm. I really have to force myself at 8pm when really I should be winding down for the night. Once I am on vacation I'll be able to fit my workouts in during the day which will be way better.

The weather forecast for this weekend isn't so great but I'm kinda ok with that since I have lots of indoor stuff to do, other than my 18K run. Please don't rain Sunday morning!

Here is a cute picture of Audrey-

"When life gives you lemons, eat 'em!"
She's a lemon fan like her Daddy!

I only took a couple outfit pictures this week. Nothing super exciting but it seems people enjoy seeing them!

Blue dots
Dress- Joe
Cardigan- BR
Lavender & Grey
Cardigan, shirt, skirt- Jacob
Cardigan & shirt- Old Navy
Jeans- Walmart
I called this outfit 'Twins' because my co-worker is wearing almost the exact same thing, except that her shirt is polka dotted. We laughed pretty hard at our matching. Thankfully we don't have any meetings together today!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

~Audrey: 17 Months~

Audrey 16 months
Audrey 15 months

Sleep: Some nights are better than others. It seems that if she goes to bed later than usual she sleeps horribly. We are really trying to make sure that she goes to bed on time each night, including the weekends. We have also shifted her bedtime from 7:30pm to 8:00pm. She is still napping usually once a day for 1.5-2.5 hours.

Eating: Seems to be doing better. She still likes a lot of variety but she is more willing to try different things.

We have officially weaned from nursing. She still gets a bottle before bedtime.

Teething: She has a full set of chompers.

Crawling/Standing/Walking: Runs everywhere. She doesn't stop moving from the moment she wakes up until she goes to sleep. No wonder she is skinny!

Eyes: Grey/hazel/green.

Hair: Slowly coming in.

Playing: Outdoor girl! She loves the park, the backyard, going for walks, playing with the rocks and dirt.
She drags our shoes to the backdoor and says "Go!"

Talking: So many words! She likes to yell too!

Sign Language: Signing has decreased. She still signs "more, please, milk, food, water, bath, lion, bird, etc"

Weight/Clothing: No recent weigh-ins. She wears 12-18 and 18m clothes. Shoe size 4-5. She has gotten taller lately although she hasn't been measured.

Personality: The terrible twos have arrived! Little miss tantrum. It's exhausting. Everything is a fight lately.

Current Favourite Things: bubbles, sandbox, boots, books, rocks and the remote.

Dislikes: Everything! She hates getting changed, putting shoes on, taking shoes off, having a bath, getting in the car, coming home, being tired, etc.

Miscellaneous: Her stubborn personality is rearing it's ugly head. 'No' is her favourite word. I'm hoping this phase passes since she can be so much fun. On the plus side, she loves giving hugs, kisses- she makes the 'mmmmm' sound effect when leaning in, high fives, and talks so much.

Monday, July 22, 2013

~ What I did this Weekend ~

Wahhhh why does the weekend have to be over? It was going so well and then Monday had to come.

Friday we headed over to the NEW Farmer's Market that opened up walking distance from our house! The ranch was such a great space that was sitting vacant for the last couple of years so this is the perfect use for it. We love going to the Farmer's Market but there isn't one close to us so we rarely get to go. I think this will be a new weekend tradition.

Ghost toddler with Farmer's Market carrots
They were having a flood relief BBQ so it was the perfect opportunity to check out the market and have some dinner. They had live music and just a great atmosphere. I really hope it does well.

After Audrey went to bed I headed out for a short 4K run. According to my neighbors I have a running doppelganger in the neighborhood! I guess they have said hi to her a few times as she ran past their house, thinking she was me. I'm pretty sure I saw her the next day and I can definitely see why they think she looks like me.

Saturday hubby had to work in the morning so Lil' Miss and I ran some errands. We weren't overly successful- no great Winner's finds this time but it was nice to get out. She even fell asleep in her stroller so I had to go to Starbucks to extend the stroller time!

After a long nap (she stayed asleep while I loaded her in the car and then transferred her to her crib!), we played outside in the backyard for a bit- she loves bubbles and those boots!!

We had a relaxing evening at home. We watched Sleepless in Seattle since neither of us had seen it before. It was such a good movie! Now I know why it's such a classic!

Sunday morning we managed to make it to Run Club. The current half clinic was only doing 9K but the small marathon group was doing 19K so we hooked up with a couple of them for our 16K planned run. One lady ran a similar pace to me so it was nice to have someone to chat with and share stories. Audrey was a bit bored so hubby had to keep stopping to entertain and feed her.

It was quite warm out and it wasn't a speedy run but I was just fine with that. I was happy to have done the distance, have no pain and not die! Goal accomplished!

While hubby and Audrey napped in the afternoon, I went to Costco to stock up. Afterwards we went to my sister's house for dinner. Audrey loved playing with her cousins and their cousin who is only a few months older than her. She was not very happy when it was time to leave since it was past her bed time. It made for a rough night for all of us.

I'm very much looking forward to my bed right now!

Friday, July 19, 2013

~ Training, Reading, Fashion ~

Oh look, it's Friday! I've been counting down the days since Monday so it's not really a surprise. It's more a relief! I am so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Someone please give Audrey the memo that 4am is not wake up time ever. Yawn!

To give a brief update on my Seawheeze training, I managed to squeeze in a make up 'long run' on Tuesday after work. The schedule called for 14K, I did 8K due to time constraints. It's not ideal but it's better than nothing. I also did a 4K run last night. I'm planning on another short run tonight- let's hope I have the energy.

This weekend I will be doing 16K. I CAN do it!

My 30 Day Squat Challenge has had a few hiccups. Day 4 was a rest day and then I forgot to do Day 5 and Day 6! I kept getting the reminder on my phone when I was in bed already. So I started back up at Day 5 last night before bed.

I also picked up some heavier weights for strength training. I need to push myself more!

I received a Kobo gift card for my birthday so I bought the most recent Jodi Picoult book, The Storyteller. She is my favourite author and I can't wait to read this book! I've heard good things about this book and usually she doesn't disappoint.

I didn't get a chance to organize my outfits for the week on Sunday so I had to scramble each morning for something to wear. I wore a lot of repeat favourite outfits so there isn't much to share this week.

Plum Pie
Dress- Jacob
Cardigan- Old Navy
Pumps- Nine West
Necklace- BR
I found this gem in the back of my closet. I love this dress but it's dry clean only so I don't wear it that often. I really hate having to take my clothes to the dry cleaners! I'd rather buy more clothes.

I know I said I wouldn't...

Blazer- H&M
Dress- BR
Belt- Old Navy
Necklace- RW&Co?
... wear this dress to work again but pairing it with a blazer definitely increases the professional factor. The only downside to this outfit is that the belt did not stay put. I kept having to tighten it, lift it up or re-loop it throughout the day. Very annoying! I think a thicker belt will be better next time.

Brought to you by...

Yup, another outfit completely from Old Navy, minus the sandals. Apparently I like their stuff.

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

~ What I did this weekend ~

Friday was pretty low key since I was exhausted from a busy week. I snuck in a 30 minute treadmill run after Audrey went to bed. I started watching Horrible Bosses to keep me from getting too bored just staring at the wall. It was ok.

I also started the 30 Day Squat Challenge. I keep meaning to do another 30 Day Ab Challenge but decided to try something different.

Saturday I had a lovely massage in the morning. Afterwards we went to our friends' house for lunch and to go to the lake in their community. The babies had lots of fun, even if it was a tad cool out. I totally forgot all my swimming stuff (I remembered everything else!) but it wasn't that big of a deal since it was too cold to go swimming. I spent most of the time running after Audrey anyway!

Testing the waters

Playing in the sand
We were supposed to go to the neighbors for a Fire Pit party but hubby was too busy packing and getting organized for his work conference. I was too exhausted to go socialize and didn't want to change out of my pj's! So lame!

It also may have been my birthday... 

Sunday hubby had an early flight. Audrey and I got up to go running with the group but she took her sweet time eating so we missed it. I intended to make up the run during the day, either with her in the Chariot or on the treadmill. It was a trying day so we didn't accomplish much. I opted to take a nap rather than run while Audrey napped. I'm still trying to figure out when I'm going to make up my long run- hopefully tomorrow after work.

Boots and pj's?
New fashion statement

Toddler selfie
We went to my Aunt's house for dinner as my cousin and his wife were in town. It was so nice to see them and the rest of the family. I think Audrey was also grateful for the change of scenery! She also loved the chocolate cake that Great- Auntie kept sneaking her bites of!

I was actually quite productive once Audrey went to bed- finished some cleaning, laundry and baked muffins. It was a bit too late to tackle a run though.

Since hubby is away for a few days this week, I have to get Audrey ready in the morning for the day home. Today was  my first time ever having to get her ready, while also getting myself ready for work. Luckily my boss was fine with me being a couple hours late and I have hubby's parking pass so I can save time driving rather than taking the train downtown.

It went fairly well this morning. I got up a bit earlier than Audrey normally wakes up to get myself ready. When she woke up, we went downstairs to eat breakfast. I never eat breakfast at home during the week so that was nice. She was much happier this morning than she was yesterday so that made the start to the day better. I dropped her off at the day home without a hitch and made my way to work.

The best part, other than seeing Audrey in the morning, is that I got to sleep in! I didn't have to get up until well after I normally have to leave the house.

Hopefully tomorrow will go as smoothly as today did.

Friday, July 12, 2013

~Haute Fashion: Stampede Version~

Happy Friday!!! Ya-hoo!!! 

Firstly, I'd like to thank some special ladies for the fun evening last night. It was so nice to catch up, be pampered and have a relaxing night! Just what I needed! My toes look so pretty now- thank you!! :)

Now onto my Stampede attire. Huge disclaimer- if I was being judged by my actual "western-ness" I would fail miserably. As someone who grew up around horses and wore my fair share of western wear on a regular basis, I know what I am about to post is not "western" wear. So if you are expecting fancy cowboy hats, boots, tight wranglers, cute country dresses, etc you will be disappointed.

I'm not even attempting to dress "western" here so really this is more of a casual attire post since we are allowed to wear jeans to work for these 10 days.

Maybe one of these years I will pick up a pair of comfy cowboy boots.

So for my "non-western casual Stampede" work attire:

Coral, Turquoise & Denim
White shirt & denim jacket- Old Navy
Maxi skirt- Hope's
Necklace- Ebay
I jump at any chance to wear my pj-feeling skirt to work! Denim jacket = Stampede attire, in my books. I don't know if I've ever actually owned a denim jacket before and I'm not 100% sold on it for me but it worked well for Stampede and I'm sure I will get more wear out of it in the summer/fall months.
I ended up having to buy a half slip to wear under this skirt since I'm not super comfortable with how sheer it is in the back. I feel like an old lady and it definitely takes away from the "airy-ness" of the skirt but at least I don't have to worry about everyone seeing my butt now!

 Scalloped & Floral
Shirt & Cardigan- Old Navy
Jeans- Silver
Shoes- Spring
 Horrible picture. My lower half looks awful here. I swear it looked better in person. I love the scallop edge on this shirt and it's so flowy and comfortable.

Maxi Dress & Denim
Maxi dress- Target (US)
Denim jacket- Old Navy
Necklace- Ebay
Bracelets- ? 
 I have been dying to wear this dress to work! It's not work appropriate at all during the rest of the year but for Stampede it's perfect! The colours are western-ish and paired with the denim jacket it just worked so well. The jacket collar hides the necklace but you can still see it peeking out.

Brown & Mint
Mint cardigan- Old Navy
Brown shirt- Banana Republic
Jeans- Silver
Sandals- Steve Madden
Necklace- gift
Bracelets & Ring- ??
 I wore this outfit to our Stampede Party and I even wore a cowboy hat! I meant to take a picture with it on but forgot! It was one of the fashion hats though- not a true cowboy hat.

Denim & Coral & Lace, Oh My!

Lace shirt- H&M
Coral/pink jeans- Walmart
Denim jacket- Old Navy
The title says it all. One of my favourite outfits this week.

Stampede Skirt & More Lace
Denim skirt- Gap
Striped cardigan- F21
Lace shirt- Old Navy
Shoes- Spring
I'm pretty sure this skirt only ever gets worn during Stampede. It's a bit conservative so perfect for at the office. I have other denim skirts that would never be office appropriate, although based on what I have seen in and around downtown this past week, other people beg to differ!

While it was fun to dress casually all week, I'm looking forward to wearing more professional clothes next week.

Do you wear denim jackets or skirts? 
Do you ever wear "western" attire? 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

~Three Things Thursday~

1. Stampede is almost over! I haven't done any "Stampeding" other than a couple pancake breakfasts and watching the Parade last Friday. I'm going to a BBQ at our office building today. I am enjoying the casual attire, even if I don't go all out western.

Need one of these shirts-
proceeds go to flood relief
2. I'm really starting to get down on my lack of workouts. Try as I may, I just can't seem to fit them in.

On Tuesday, I attempted a treadmill run at 8pm after Audrey went to bed and hubby wasn't home yet. That only lasted 20 minutes and it was pathetic. I tried at least.

Last night, I planned on doing yoga after we got home from dinner at the in-laws (always a nice treat to not have to cook on a weeknight!) but by the time I did a few chores it was 9pm and that's just too late to be working out, even if it is a fairly relaxing yoga session.

I'm also concerned about my lack of long runs. I have a half marathon in one month and so far the longest I have run recently is 10K. I need to do 14K this Sunday- hubby will be away at a conference so I will meet the running group and hope that someone will at least accompany me on this distance and possibly help push Audrey. Worse comes to worst, I can do as much as I can while pushing the Chariot and finish later on the treadmill but this isn't ideal since I doubt I will get on the treadmill!

I shouldn't complain though- I am able to workout and run, I just need to make them a priority. I'm not sure I can stand my house being any dirtier though!

3. In good news, I have read almost 2 books in the last week! Yay me!! That's what happens when you go to bed early and read for a bit rather than spending endless hours on the internet at night!

I'm also looking forward to my pedicure girls night tonight! I could really use some pampering and catching up with some friends.

~ Stampede Road Race 5K Race Report July 2013 ~

My sister and I did the Stampede Road Race 5K for the second year in a row.

Last year, it was her first race ever and since she needed some motivation to get back running this year, I signed us up.

My sister was having problems with motivation leading up to the race (I know how that feels!) so I reassured her that we would stick together during the race, whether we had to walk some of it or just run really slowly. This race was more about the experience and running together than achieving a PR.

With the recent flooding in Calgary, we weren't sure the race would be still be on but we received an email saying it was still a go as the courses had not been affected. That was a relief as one of my races had already been cancelled/postponed due to the flooding (for obvious reasons).

I picked up our packages at Strides a couple days before the race. This race has the best race shirts! They are flattering and nice colours which is always a bonus. My shirt from last year is one of the only race shirts that I actual run in.

The weather this year was far more favourable for running than it was last year. It was ~15C at 7:30am which meant capris and t-shirt weather for me. Last year it was sweltering hot so I welcomed the cooler temperature.

Of course, I was running a bit late so I had enough time to wait in the long line up for the bathroom, and meet up with my sister before heading to the start line. It was perfect as there was no time to stand around and get nervous.

As we headed to the start line, I confirmed with my sister that our game plan was no plan. Just run comfortably, take walk breaks if needed and have fun. We would stick together- even though she told me I could do ahead if I wanted to.

Before we knew it, the gun went off and the race was on. We waved to our cheerleaders and were off.

Cheerleaders getting ready

Hand in my face...

We quickly started chatting and just ran at a comfortable race. At the first corner, K jokingly asked if we were almost done! In the first kilometer there is a long, fairly step hill that I was certainly glad to get over and done with early on. Right around the 1K mark, we saw my friend from work, D, that I have run into at a few races now! She was doing the 10K, which is the same course as the 5K for the first 4K.

I didn't pay too close attention to my watch throughout the race. We just ran based on how we felt, keeping a steady conversation, with me doing most of the talking.

Meanwhile, hubby and the girls ran into Penny, our clinic instructor. She injured her calf last week and is on the sidelines for a bit while it recovers. She was supposed to run the half marathon but obviously couldn't. Instead, she came down to cheer on her runners. I wish her the speediest recovery as it just isn't the same without her on the pathways with us.

And she "walked" 3K with those crutches that day. If that doesn't get you off the couch, I don't know what does.

At 2.75K, I checked our time and we were doing pretty good. Just over 16 minutes which meant we were around the same time as last year. K didn't think she would be able to run it faster than 33 minutes so we were doing great.

It was around here that we ran into a couple ladies from my half marathon group. They were also running the 10K. I wasn't really expecting to see them so it was nice to chat with them for a minute before moving on.
At this point we started to pass quite a few people, which felt good. We were weaving around and squeezing between groups of people once we got on the narrow pathway towards the track. I remember last year it was this point (~3.75K) that I got a bad side stitch and was really struggling. This year, I felt great! I was pushing myself a bit but it was important to stay with K.

As we ran up a small hill to the track, I saw hubby and the girls. They cheered us on.

The last kilometer was fairly tough. I knew K was struggling to keep up so I just stayed a few feet ahead of her to keep her going. As long as I kept the pace, she would keep going. I really wanted to sprint at this point- apparently I have found my competitive side!

A few hundred meters from the finish, I shouted some sort of encouragement to my sister, slowed down a hair so that we were running side by side and we brought it in. Just before the finish line, we grabbed each other's hand, and threw them up in the air as we crossed over together!

We did it!!

I didn't stop my Garmin for a few seconds but when I did, it said 31: 45. I couldn't remember our exact time last year but I figured we were only 15-30 seconds slower which I was pretty happy with.

Turns out we were actually 1 second faster this year!! Our chip time was 31:43, whereas last year it was 31:44. Not bad considering we weren't even trying for a PR! I'll take a course PR!

Afterwards, we grabbed some pancakes, ran into a few more people we knew and enjoyed the post-race after glow! We are already thinking about next year's race and signing up our daughters for the kids' races!

Monday, July 8, 2013

~ What I did this weekend ~

Another insane weekend is over. I think I am more exhausted today than I was on Friday evening!

Friday was the first day of the Calgary Stampede, starting with the Parade in the morning. Hubby decided to take the day off work and bring Audrey down to watch the parade. My office is along the parade route so I came down for a bit to watch with them.

 Audrey loved the crowd and all the horses.

Best seat in the house!


Parade Marshal- Chris Hatfield, Canadian Astronaut

Mayor Nenshi


Loving the horses

Parts of the parade were pretty emotional. There were many signs thanking the volunteers and first response teams for their efforts during the flood. Many firefighters, police officers and EMS were part of the parade and there was lots of cheering as they walked by.

Apparently it's tough work watching a parade though...

Sleepy baby
Later that night, I did 5K on the treadmill since it was pouring rain outside. Why run outside when you can run inside! I managed to hurt my foot before I even started running though. I was reaching down over the treadmill to pick something up off the floor, my one foot was half under the treadmill and it got stuck as I went bent over. It hurt soooo badly! I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. It was a bit tender for a couple days.

Saturday we met some friends at Heritage Park. The girls had lots of fun and it brought back many childhood memories for me!

Splashing in the fountain

On the train

Enjoying the carousal

Riding the horses on the carousel the 2nd time around

Nice face honey

Going on the ferris wheel

It was a full day and I was exhausted when we left. Audrey feel asleep before we even left the park.

Sunday my sister and I ran the Stampede Road Race 5K. I'll write a full race recap but I will say the weather was gorgeous and we had a course PR! We had lots of fun and are planning on putting our girls into the kids race next year!

After the race's pancake breakfast, we went to another pancake breakfast hosted by our friends. Only a couple days into Stampede and I might be good for pancakes for awhile!

Now to survive the rest of this week!